Discovery run-walk set for New Year’s Day in Port Townsend

Discovery run-walk set for New Year’s Day in Port Townsend

PORT TOWNSEND — The Peninsula Trails Coalition is bringing back a favorite event, its New Year’s Day Discovery 10K & 5K Run-Walk Fundraiser, for those who want to warm up on a cold day.

And it will indeed be cold.

“The forecast says there is a possibility of snow,” said Jeff Selby, vice president of the Peninsula Trails​ Coalition.

He doesn’t expect that to dissuade enthusiasts, who have turned out for the run-walk in the past in numbers ranging from 85 to more than 100.

“Winter runners know what the possibilities are,” Selby said.

‘Icy routes’

“We’ve had icy routes before. We always warn runners to watch their footing. People will bundle up.”

Start time for the fifth-annual event is 11 a.m. Sunday at the clubhouse at the Discovery Bay Golf Course, 7401 Cape George Road.

Runners and walkers travel a route that includes part of the Larry Scott Trail before returning to the clubhouse for water, fruit and hot cocoa at the finish line.

“The route will be beautiful,” Selby said. “The first mile is all on cart paths, and then there is a short connector trail that connects from the end of the golf course to the end of the Larry Scott Trail.”

The 5k turnaround is only a half-mile on the Larry Scott Trail, while the 10k turnaround is past the Cape George Trailhead and turns back at Nelson’s Landing Road.

Times will be recorded, although it is not a certified route, Selby said.

For ticket information and to register, see http://tinyurl.com/PDN-discoveryrunwalk.

To help participants bundle up against chilly weather, the coalition will offer each a bandana-type scarf that can be used as a hat or neck-warmer.

It will have the Olympic Discovery Trail logo, in honor of the beneficiary of the fundraiser.

Proceeds will go toward the effort by the coalition to help accumulate grant match funds for the extension of the Olympic Discovery Trail from Discovery Bay through the Quimper Peninsula to connect with the Larry Scott Memorial Trail.

Similar fundraisers held this year include the Longest Day of Trails Runs on the summer solstice in June and the Freddy Pink Band concert and silent auction held in October.

The Freddy Pink concert and auction is the group’s major fundraiser. In two years, it has brought in some $25,000, Selby said.

Sunday’s run-walk is expected to raise between $1,500 and $2,000, he added.

When completed, the Olympic Discovery Trail is expected to traverse almost 130 miles of lowlands — bordered on the south by the Olympic Mountains and on the north by the Strait of Juan de Fuca — with its start in Port Townsend and end at the Pacific Ocean.

Selby said great progress has been made in the effort to connect the Olympic Discovery Trail in Jefferson County with existing sections in Clallam County.

Jefferson County received $1 million in funding to hire a professional consultant to determine the optimum route from the current end of the Larry Scott Memorial Trail near the Four Corners intersection to Discovery Bay, to acquire the land and to begin engineering design work.

Members of the coalition have interviewed possible consultants, Selby said.

Other progress along the route of the cross-peninsula trail includes construction early next year on the section of the Olympic Discovery Trail rounding the southern tip of Discovery Bay, work on the Miller Peninsula on a Jefferson/Clallam County line trailhead and parking area, definition of the trail route in the Joyce area and the completion of the crossing of U.S. Highway 101 west of Lake Crescent.

Also in the works is the restoration of the 450-foot McFee tunnel on the Spruce Railroad Trail on the north shore of Lake Crescent.

The coalition, founded in 1988, is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that advocates for the completion and maintenance of the Olympic Discovery Trail.

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